Discover history, different cultures, fashion, traditions and style -- all through the lens of footwear design -- at the Bata Museum in Toronto, Canada.
It's easy to dismiss shoes as simply an indication of personal taste, style and budget. Taking a closer look at footwear yields information about people and cultures around the world. Chronologically, shoes trace a path through technological development, and mark even subtle shifts in a society’s attitudes and values. Footwear reflects entire ways of life -- including weather, religion, gender politics and social status. Shoes can be objects of beauty, or instruments of torture. They provide protection from the environment or work hazards, and support to athletes striving to achieve their goals. No matter the place or era, shoes are a sign of their times.
At any one time around 12,000 shoes and shoe-related objects are on display, from Japanese sandals made of human hair, to grass socks worn by Alaska’s Aleut people, to a pair of 4,500 year old boots. Humans have been wearing footwear for as many as 40,000 years.
Click HERE to go to the Bata Shoe Museum website.